• abbyarend

Created for More

Sometimes I really wish I could text the good Lord and be like “what is happening?”

The path I thought I would be on for quite longer than I actually was soon came to a dead end.

I have played volleyball for over half of my life. Many of you if you’ve been following Project for a while now, know I stopped playing my senior year, came back to play, committed to Ohio University to play. Then left Ohio and transferred to Nova Southeastern where I really thought I would finish my volleyball career. If you’re new here I just gave you a little sparks notes of the past 3 years.

Nowhere in my plan was I going to end my volleyball career this year.

Nowhere in my plan was I going to drop out of my classes at Nova to come home and go to school in Texas.

Literally nowhere in my mind was I wanting to start over for another time.

I had a life put together in Florida. A great one.

But something was off in my heart.

This year I feel like I have been hot and cold with my faith. I started off on fire for the Lord but soon became lukewarm and then that fire was gone. And it wasn’t intentional. At least at first it wasn’t.

The more I felt God tugging on my heart the more I ran in the opposite direction. I knew he was calling me to bigger and better dreams but oh did that scare me. So I ignored it. I was half in, half out. I listened to my worship music, watched an occasional church service. I never didn’t believe in God. I just didn’t want the good things that were going on in my life to be taken from me. I felt that if I opened my bible or really sat with the Lord I would feel convicted in a way I did not want.

The thing about the Lord is he shows up. He chases. The parts of my heart that were convicted, he grabbed, and the more my heart opened back up to him the more he became the sole reason my heart was beating.

Volleyball, my passion, became the stealer of my joy. I had been striving and striving and striving to prove that I was “tough enough” “strong enough” “worthy enough” of playing the sport I love at the college level. It became an idol. Pleasing my coaches became my motive. And I got lost.

Do you remember when you first fell in love with the thing you’re passionate about? Nothing else mattered, no one else mattered, no opinion mattered because you loved it.

While volleyball was my passion, I for some reason lost that true love and began playing for everyone but myself, everyone but God. It was no longer a place to glorify the Lord or a place where I felt free, it was a place that I felt defeated in. Were there other circumstances that played a role in the defeat I felt? 100%. Did I have any control over that? Not one bit.

And that is honestly what breaks my heart the most; that I was in an unfortunate situation that ended with me hanging up my jersey. I have a lot of anger, a lot of sadness which is something I have to overcome. Ultimately, I know there is so much more purpose to why I am going through what I am going through other than just being done with volleyball.

I have said this for years, I want to be the person I needed when I was younger. That applies to me speaking about anxiety and depression. That applies to me speaking about my volleyball experience. And that is my purpose. First to love, then to serve. And this is how I feel I can best serve. To write to you all and to encourage through my story. That honestly is what’s getting me up in the mornings, knowing God is using this for his glory.

So my friends, my new friends, my old friends, the lesson I’d like to share with you all today is short and sweet, despite the long introduction:)

It’s that you do not have to be anything but you to be loved by God. It’s that his love isn’t circumstantial or dependent on performance, status, strength. His love is overflowing, overwhelming and abundantly available to you in whatever season, hot or cold, near or far. He is calling your name. He called mine, and it took me a few months to answer. And the result of answering has turned my world upside down, but I am oh so faithful in His plan. I know he is working all things together for good, I know he is a mountain mover, and I know he has created you, and he has created me for more. Chase after it. Xoxo

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